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Minorities Panel Troubled Over Sikh Sex Ratio

source: Minorities panel troubled over Sikh sex ratio - Howrah News Service - Latest news and headlines on Howrah and West Bengal

Minorities panel troubled over Sikh sex ratio


July 1: The National Commission for Minorities is exercised over the hugely depressed sex ratios amongst the Sikh community resident in Punjab.

Describing the reducing numbers of women alongside the illegal but widespread practice of female foeticide in the border state as "tragic", NCM member Harcharan Singh Josh, who is Sikh himself, pointed out that there was a "deficit of 220 women for every 1,000 men among the Sikhs living in Punjab."

Quoting further from official statistics he said this was way below sex ratios in the other minority communities including Muslims, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists.

There are merely 780 Sikh women for every 1,000 men in Punjab as against reverse sex ratios amongst Buddhists with 953 men for 1,000 women, 1,050 men for 1,000 women in Muslims and 1,009 men for 1,000 women amongst Christians.

Mr Josh said the general bias against women in India was much sharper amongst Punjab's Sikhs and evidenced in numerous social and developmental parameters.

And even though women are not designated as a "minority" in themselves and therefore not directly in the purview of the NCM, the member said it was unfortunate that progressive provinces like Punjab, neighbouring Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir were among those that have failed to establish state-level minority commissions.

This has been despite the fact that the NCM has reminded each such state government about their oversight several times over. "They have either set up insignificant and farzi (fake) committees or have simply responded that the matter is under process."

Now, in the hope of speeding up the "process", the NCM has put together a model minorities commission act to help states like Punjab and Haryana. "The model act, which envisages a seven-member commission in smaller states and 13-member bodies in larger states, will come up for final discussion at the commission's meeting on July 3 and will thereafter be sent to the states," Mr Josh said.

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